The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has unveiled the eight low-budget projects that will take part its IndiVision Project Lab, one of which will be the directorial debut of Kinky Boots star Joel Edgerton.

Edgerton's film The Professor is a thriller about a top forensic scientist investigating a family murder-suicide, who becomes secretly obsessed with his wife's double life. Rachel Okine, a production and acquisitions executive with Hopscotch Films, will produce.

Edgerton and Okine, and the other seven teams, will spend the next seven days in the IndiVision Project Lab, getting advice on their projects from a range of people, and rehearsing and shooting scenes.

The selected projects include other feature debuts, such as Griff The Invisible from actor and short filmmaker Leon Ford, and The 20-Something Survival Guide from Peter Templeman, who received an Academy Award nomination for his short film The Saviour.

However, the AFC no longer insists that all the directors are first-timers: Darren Ashton, for example, has already made Razzle Dazzle: A Journey Into Dance and Thunderstruck.

Lab director Megan Simpson Huberman said that the 30 or so applications received were remarkably diverse. A political thriller and a romantic comedy were in the final group and these are uncommon genres for Australian films.

Overseas advisers include prolific US producer Christine Vachon (I'm Not There, Boys Don't Cry), performance consultant Lindy Davies (whose work with Julie Christie helped the actress win awards for Away From Her), Laurence Coriat, who has regularly worked with Michael Winterbottom and is now developing her own films, and Danish development executive Vinca Wiedemann.

The Lab costs about $178,000 (A$200,000) to stage and the AFC also provides $2.7m (A$3m) per year for the production of low-budget films. The budget cap for these films is A$2.5m each, but the AFC will provide up to A$1.13m only.